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Knife help - what to do? Henckel Inernational Everedge

fldhkybnva Oct 9, 2012 07:41 PM

I have noticed recently that my knives are pretty much useless. Not only the chef's knife, but the steak knives as well. I have the following set http://www.amazon.com/Henckels-Intern.... It's the Henckel International Everedge Set bought when I was in college. The knives have never been sharpened ever (longer than I would like to admit but 8+ years) and so I thought perhaps they needed to be sharpened. My google search to figure out the best way to do this yielded a lot of helpful information to suggest that these serrated knives in general are not very good nor do they last very long. Would you recommend that I try to sharpen them? Is it possible to sharpen serrated knives and how so? I can't really afford a very nice, long lasting knife set right now but would like to have knives that actually work (for example, meat both raw and cooked tends to accumulate on the blade such that during prep or eating I usually have to pull off a strand of accumulated meat, which I assume is a bad sign of knife effectiveness

  1. k
    knifesavers Oct 9, 2012 10:45 PM

    Those cheap microserrated knives are basically disposable. They can't be sharpened.

    The little teeth fold over or break off and there is no fix.

    Jim

    1 Reply
    1. re: knifesavers
      u
      unprofessional_chef Oct 10, 2012 05:39 AM

      knifesavers: "Those cheap microserrated knives are basically disposable. They can't be sharpened."

      I agree... I really hate these type of edges. They use them in food processors so there is no way sharpen the blade once they dull. You'd have to buy a new replacement chopper or disk. So next time don't buy a set with microserrated steak knives.

      Pretty must every knife in the Henckels International Everedge Plus set feature "micro-serrated blades that never need sharpening"... that is until they need to be sharpened. It appears the chef's knife also has a microserrated edge. This set isn't salvageable by any method of sharpening.

      Save up and stick with straight edge knives.

    2. tanuki soup Oct 10, 2012 03:05 AM

      "I can't really afford a very nice, long lasting knife set right now but would like to have knives that actually work..."

      I don't think you need to get a set. Just a chef's knife, a paring knife, and maybe a bread knife. The Fibrox line from Victorinox is a real bargain. You can order all three from Amazon for less than $60.

       
       
       
      3 Replies
      1. re: tanuki soup
        TeRReT Oct 10, 2012 03:15 AM

        If steak knives are the deal breaker, you could also get a victorinox chef knife, paring knife and 6 steak knives for $60 on amazon

        1. re: tanuki soup
          b
          bbqJohn Oct 11, 2012 08:27 PM

          I mentioned in another post that one of the challenges with the Victoinox Fibrox and Dexter lines are the large plastic handles. With the 8 inch Chef's knives, your fingers will bang against the cutting board when chopping with a Pinch Grip. This condition does not exist with the Victorinox Rosewood handle or 10 inch versions of either line.

          At a similar price point is the Mercer Renaissance line.

          http://www.knifemerchant.com/product.asp?productID=5912

          or

          KAI Seki- AUS8 alloy

          http://www.chefsresource.com/kai-4000st-chefs-knife-8.html

          At an even lower price point are Update International (German steel forged) knives where a forged 10 inch Chef's knife (made in China) can be picked up at your local Restaurant Supply for about $15 or less.

          http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/update-international/kge-09/p515630.aspx

          Regardless of knife choice it's long term performance relates to it's maintenance. Pick a maintenance program. Check out Chad Ward's online info:

          http://forums.egullet.org/topic/26036...

          1. re: bbqJohn
            Chemicalkinetics Oct 11, 2012 08:42 PM

            <Check out Chad Ward's online info>

            +1. Excellent advice.

        2. scubadoo97 Oct 10, 2012 03:13 AM

          Tanuki soup gave you the best advice. At some point these new knives will need to be sharpened though

          1 Reply
          1. re: scubadoo97
            tanuki soup Oct 10, 2012 03:30 AM

            Good point. Maybe a Kai Combination 240/1000 waterstone for $29, also from Amazon? For someone on a really tight budget, I'd replace the bread knife with the waterstone for the same total cost.

             
          2. Chemicalkinetics Oct 10, 2012 06:14 AM

            Technically, you can grind (sharpen) the knives until the serrated teeth is gone. Practically speaking, I personally won't find it worthwhile.

            I would suggest that you buy some new knives instead. No need to have a knife set as tanuki soup said. Victorinox knives, Dexter Russell knives are good budget knives with decent performance.

            Most people either use a Western Chef's knife or a Santoku knife as their MAIN knife. Either case, replace your main knife is the top priority. A paring knife is usually the second most important knife (not always). A bread knife or a boning knife can be important, and can come third.

            As for knife sharpening, there are many options. If you are don't mind learning, then a waterstone is a very good investment. If you don't care for spending time, then there are other options.

            1. j
              JavaBean Oct 10, 2012 06:22 AM

              Hi, As knifesaver said, serrated edges are very difficult to resharpen and should be thought of as disposable.  Plus the micro serrated ones are horrible. Even new they do more tearing, shreading than cutting.

              Awhile ago, I bought some inexpensive Walco steak knives at a restaurant supply store for $20 for 24. They and tanaka soup' forschner/vic chef and pairing knife suggestion are the  least expensive, most decent knife that I know of.

              19 Replies
              1. re: JavaBean
                fldhkybnva Oct 10, 2012 05:49 PM

                Exactly, it's more tearing and shredding rather than cutting even with the chef's knife. It's been a few years and seriously frustrated, so perhaps I will invest in a few high quality knives. My mom loves Henckel but I can't really afford the top of the line. Any recommendations in any of their lines for a good knife for a reasonable price?

                1. re: fldhkybnva
                  Chemicalkinetics Oct 10, 2012 07:22 PM

                  <Any recommendations in any of their lines for a good knife for a reasonable price?>

                  I am not entirely sure why you have to only buy Henckels considering the knives are for you, and not for your mom. Regardless, if you want good Henckels knives at a reasonable price, then your best bet is look for the Zwilling (Twin) Henckels at TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Ross..etc. You are looking at about $40-50 for a 8" Chef's knife -- most likely the Four Star series.

                  Now, if you don't care about stamped knife vs forged knife (which I hope you don't), then Henckels Twin Signature is your cost effective knife series in the stamped knife format. A 8" Chef's knife from the Signature series is $50:

                  http://www.amazon.com/Zwilling-J-A-Henckels-Signature-8-Inch/dp/B0000TPCUY/ref=sr_1_8?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1349921796&sr=1-8&keywords=Henckels+signature

                  If you must have a forged knife, then considered that Henckels is phrasing Four Star out with Four Star II (my speculation). As such, the Four Star knives are sold at lower prices than Four Star II. On Amazon, a 8" Four Star Chef's knife is $70, while a 8" Four Star II Chef's knife is $122.

                  http://www.amazon.com/Zwillilng-J-A-Henckels-8-Inch-Stainless-Steel/dp/B00004RFKS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1349921347&sr=8-3&keywords=henckels+four+star

                  http://www.amazon.com/Zwilling-J-A-Henckels-8-Inch-Stainless-Steel/dp/B000FMVS0E/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1349921347&sr=8-16&keywords=henckels+four+star

                  Again, you can get better quality knife at a lower price point if you are wiling to look pass Henckels. Victorinox stamped knives are very good. Most people will tell you that Victorinox knives are no worse than Henckels knives, and you can get a 8" Victorinox stamped knife for $25-35. Dexter Russell knives are also very affordable as well.

                  You can even get a fine Japanese Tojiro ~8" Chef's knife for $80.

                  http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tojiro-...

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    fldhkybnva Oct 10, 2012 07:51 PM

                    I am willing to look past Henckel but just asked as my whole family is very Henckel-pro. I am thinking that the Victorinox might be the best option.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                      Chemicalkinetics Oct 10, 2012 07:59 PM

                      <my whole family is very Henckel-pro>

                      Got it. I thought it is just your mother preference. Have fun sorting out all options.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                        scubadoo97 Oct 10, 2012 08:16 PM

                        I'd go with the Tojiro. My Henckels get little use after using lighter sharper Japanese knives. More precision cutting with the thinner edge. The Henckels feel quite heavy compairison

                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                          Sid Post Oct 11, 2012 04:35 AM

                          Most people who SELL and BUY knives don't really understand what they are buying or why. "German" knives carry a big name in advertising and word of mouth, and while good are far from best at the same price point.

                          I personally like a FRENCH pattern chef knife better than the GERMAN equivalent. I like the thinner profile of the Japanese better than the European knives. As you may have noticed, Henckels is dabbling with Japanese pattern knives.

                          1. re: Sid Post
                            j
                            JavaBean Oct 11, 2012 08:12 AM

                            Henckels is doing a lot more than just dabbling with Jknives.  All of thier Miyabi branded knives are made in Japan. Several years ago, they acquired a large Jknife maker in Seki Japan, giving them access to japanese bladessmithing techniques and j steels (vg-10, sg-2, zdp-189). 

                            I bought my wife one, have zero complaints, and think they are currently the best of the mass market brands. 

                            1. re: JavaBean
                              Chemicalkinetics Oct 11, 2012 08:35 AM

                              <Several years ago, they acquired a large Jknife maker in Seki Japan>

                              That was what I suspected too, but I wasn't sure. One day, Henckels was only doing German knives. Next day, it was launching Japanese style knives made in Japan. This, to me, points to the fact that Henckels bought or partnered with a Japanese bladesmithing company.

                              My understanding is that people did complain about the initial Miyabi knives for being too thick (blade), but it is really a preference thing.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                j
                                JavaBean Oct 11, 2012 09:49 AM

                                I think it's a major step forward for Heckels and jknives in general. The initial ones didn't seem to garnish much praise, but the ones out now are something special. Japanese blade steel, profile and grinding coupled to German f&f, ergonomics and Henckels warranty, availability. If you're near a SLT, check them out.

                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          t
                          Tom34 Oct 10, 2012 08:08 PM

                          On your and others advice, bought some of the Tojiro knives. Only wish my razor was as sharp!

                          1. re: Tom34
                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 10, 2012 08:26 PM

                            :) They are great knives, aren't they?

                            If the original poster budget is limited to <$50, then I recommend the Victorinox or Dexter knives. For knives under <$100, I think Tojiro DP offers much better quality and better priced knives than Henckels Twin.

                            "$80 Tojiro DP Chef's knife vs a $120 Henckels Four Star II Chef's knife" is such a clear and obvious contrast -- somewhat sad too if you think about it.

                            P.S.: Thanks for the update. I do remember your were purchasing the Tojiro Nakiri as well as Gyuto (Chef's knife), right? And was concern about the size of the handles.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              t
                              Tom34 Oct 11, 2012 09:36 AM

                              Yes, got both the 10 inch Chefs & the Nakiri. The DP handles were very similar to the Wusthof Classic and big enough. Very sharp effortless cutting. I use the old Wusthof Classics which I sharpened on the Edge Pro for hard tasks & the Tojiro's for every day prep work.

                              If my current budget was $50.00, I would wait a few weeks, brown bag it, make my own coffee, ease up on the gas pedal or what ever it took to save the extra $30.00 and get the Tojiro 8 inch chefs for $80.00.

                              From Chefs Knives To Go its also free shipping & no Tax (I didn't say that) so its $80.00 to the front door. If your going Victorinox and buying it locally, have to add sales tax & travel expense at $4.00 gallon.

                              If I was after the Wusthof Classic or the Henckels equivalent I think I would keep my eye on Ebay for a clean used one as there seems to be an abundance of them frequently listed.

                              1. re: Tom34
                                Chemicalkinetics Oct 11, 2012 11:49 AM

                                <The DP handles were very similar to the Wusthof Classic and big enough>

                                Good to hear. I think I remember saying that the handles were fine.

                                <brown bag it, make my own coffee, ease up on the gas pedal or what ever it took to save the extra $30.00 >

                                Ha ha ha. Except if you do that, then your wife/girlfriend will ask you do it for all future Valentine gifts too. This must be done in secrey.

                                <free shipping & no Tax (I didn't say that) >

                                Heh heh heh. You are full of humor.

                        3. re: fldhkybnva
                          j
                          JavaBean Oct 11, 2012 06:49 AM

                          I'm not a fan of the big fan of lower, budget tier German knives (Henckels international, Wusthof gourmet).  For the same $, the Forschners/vics have a blade steel that is more comparable to the blade steel found in their mid tier knives. 
                           
                          Stepping up to mid tier German knives (Henckels 4star, Wusthof Classic, etc.)  buys you something less utilitarian than the Forchner...nicer f&f, handle, a longer lasting blade with better edge retention.  Many have a similar blade shape and blade steel with a different handle or bolster design, so go with whatever handle floats your boat or whichever is cheaper or find a discontinued model. 

                          For the same $ as mid tier German knives, you can get much better performance from Japanese knives.  But j knives are not built to withstand the abuse from misusage (dishwasher, sink drop) or hard use (chopping through a chicken leg bone) that German knives can.  Going with a japanese chef's knife like a tojiro dp for general prep work + cheapo $20 cleaver for hard tasks gives you the same functionality as a German chef's knife...with better general and hard use performance.

                          1. re: JavaBean
                            Chemicalkinetics Oct 11, 2012 06:57 AM

                            <But j knives are not built to withstand the abuse from misusage (dishwasher, sink drop) or hard use (chopping through a chicken leg bone) that German knives can. >

                            +1. An excellent point and a very balance view.

                            I also want to add that proper cutting technique is more important for a standard Japanese knife than a typical German knife. Beside the obvious misusage you have mentioned, there are other improper cutting techniques. For example, twisting the knife edge on a cutting board will make a Japanese dull faster. It is not a permanent damage. In fact, it really dull all knives, but it would be more obvious for a Japanese hard steel knife.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              j
                              JavaBean Oct 11, 2012 09:29 AM

                              Absolutely. I'm big fan of Jknives, but first had to learn to use them properly by adjusting my technique.  The hardest part was unlearning habits that were ok for the thick &soft blades of a German knife, but are not good for the thin & hard blades of a Japanese knife.   I stopped using the high powered rocking and walking the blade technique bc the grinding and twisting motions would chew up the edges. 

                              1. re: JavaBean
                                Chemicalkinetics Oct 11, 2012 11:50 AM

                                < I stopped using the high powered rocking and walking the blade technique>

                                Good thing for me is that I never use that technique, but there are still little things here and there for me to unlearned.

                                <bc the grinding and twisting motions would chew up the edges>

                                In my opinion, it screwed up German knives as well as Japanese knives, but the damage is more apparent for Japanese knives.

                                Absolutely good summary and advise -- for your earlier advise.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  j
                                  JavaBean Oct 12, 2012 12:27 PM

                                  I picked up the rocking and walking technique from watching others do it...on TV, but doing so with a lot of downward force came from me trying to power through the German knives' wedgy effect.  Overtime, it became second nature and would do all the time.   I remember struggled at first with a j knife bc the edge would either embed itself or create a rut in the cutting board.  It took me about a month or so to convert from the German rocking to the Japanese, French push cutting technique. 

                                  My wife likes to rock with a grinding motion.  Having the edge in constant contact with the cutting board did dull my german and japanese blades equally.  But the side pressure, twisting the edge while embedded in the board that easily happens when she walks the blade from side to side caused my harder j knives to microchip. Our softer German knives didn't and her Miyabi (oddly hasn't) shown any damage. 

                                  Thanks for the props. 

                                  1. re: JavaBean
                                    Chemicalkinetics Oct 12, 2012 05:16 PM

                                    Excellent points as always. Thanks.

                      2. t
                        Tom34 Oct 11, 2012 03:38 PM

                        STEAK KNIVES: I age and butcher my own steaks and do not like serrated steak knives (either micro serrated or regular serrated). It also didn't make sense to me to buy expensive steak knives when the cutting surface is a ceramic plate. I got lucky and scored a doz Mundial 5100 series non serrated steak knives just after they were discontinued for $10.00 ea to front door. (German forged steel with bolster, made in Brazil). Just "touch" them with a cheap sharpener every few uses and they cut like a scalpel

                        1. t
                          Tom34 Oct 11, 2012 07:44 PM

                          STEAK KNIVES: If I was not able to score the Mundials, I would most definitely keep a watch on Ebay for the old made in the US used Chicago Cutlery straight edge steak knives. They are plentiful, often very reasonable and any cheap sharpener such as a $10.00 Accu Sharp will bring them back to life and keep them good and sharp. The wood handles can easily be re-conditioned with oil. 100% better than the serrated stuff!

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